There might not be a more interesting video game to have come along in the last decade than Minecraft. At a glance it’s little more than a pixel-heavy world builder — a fun, creative space in which to form the land around you, build a city, design a kingdom, or construct anything else you might think of. For those who like a more competitive experience, it can also be about gathering resources and sustaining a society.
Even given these basic functions of the game, there’s so much to do that we’ve previously explored how to allocate more RAM to Minecraft, allowing for a smoother experience. It’s a huge game, which means taking this sort of step can be a good idea even if you’re just looking to build at random. But for those who really dig into Minecraft and all of the wild possibilities it offers, there are some pretty amazing things that can be done beyond basic world building and survival.
We’ve explored three of them below.
1 – Build a Roller Coaster
Building a roller coaster is something most people never get to do in real life. Instead, people with an interest in this sort of project tend to make do with various simulators. Some amusement parks, for instance, have attractions that allow you to build your own ride and then sit in a rumbling, turning, immersive compartment that makes you feel like you’re on your own ride. And for years, many have turned to the video game series Roller Coaster Tycoon — a game reborn in its classic form for mobile players — to piece together entire theme parks. But that’s about as far as roller coaster design tends to go for most people.
Or at least it was, before Minecraft. Granted, creating anything in this pixellated world still doesn’t amount to a real-world experience. But the amazing roller coasters that have been created in Minecraft make it clear that this is about as close as you can come to fully customizing your own ride. And in fact, it can be bigger, more complex, and more daring than any real roller coaster could ever be. People have made astounding creations in this regard, and if you hop in a cart on your coaster — particularly in Minecraft VR — you can just about feel like you’re on a real ride.
2 – Construct Working Circuit Boards
The idea of building a working circuit board is actually one that’s become more accessible in the real world over the years. Once an activity more or less exclusive to working electrical engineers, printed circuit board design has been made available through programs that basically provide everything people need to complete a project. A PCB viewer free download can provide a thorough look at all of the elements of a complex printed circuit board, and from there people can learn to manipulate these elements and customize performance — potentially even sending final designs off for fabrication.
But thanks to a few creative Minecraft geniuses who recognized the true power of “Redstone” (a sort of electrical powder available in the game), players can now create life-size circuits and make them functional all in a matter of minutes. Described as virtual circuits, the creations people are making with Redstone resemble actual computing functions. Switches can cause lights to turn on and off, circuits can make carts move in set patterns along tracks, and so on. There have even been reports of people building their own in-game CPUs! In short, while real-world circuit design is now something people can actually engage in as a hobby, Minecraft offers an easy, just-for-fun version of it right there in the game.
3 – Make a Highway
This is maybe the simplest of the three ideas we’re looking at, but in a way the most mesmerizing. To some extent, all it takes is perseverance, and the patience to build a track that will stretch along for a very, very long time. But with a bit of extra creativity, this can become a beautiful project.
As an example, you need only read about the user who, way back in 2010, made an 8-mile rail that essentially amounted to a Minecraft highway. He showed off the project with a stunning time-lapse video that showed the journey along the cart, and truly simulated the experience of driving through a wild, unknown country. Again, it takes a lot of patience to pull off a project like this, particularly if you’re going to build up the country yourself. But if you’re looking to take on something big, an in-game highway can be an incredible creation.